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How we promoted the website of the veterinary clinic in the TOP


In 2012 she first contacted us veterinary clinic “BEST” with the only task: to bring the site to the top in search engines. We coped with this using relatively standard SEO optimization techniques, but it became clear that getting into the top 10 is not yet a guarantee of success for the clinic. In the process of technical support of the site and the study of Yandex. Metrica and Google Analytics data, we noted a number of inconveniences that users encountered on the clinic’s website.

For example, people often sent roughly the same messages to Feedback. The question “Do you give rabies vaccinations?” could come 5 times a day from different users, although the answer was published on the site. In a special section, they also asked for additional information about services, procedures, and prices for them (at the same time, the price list for the clinic’s services at that time was posted in an excel file for download).

Conclusion one: the site does not take into account the needs of visitors

If we take a broader approach to the issue of promoting a veterinary clinic, then how often and in what situations do people look for veterinary aid on the Internet?

When do people look for veterinary clinics?

Points of care are much less sought after than pet symptoms. The situation is about the same as with the diagnosis and self-treatment after reading several forums and sites. At first glance, they look, expert, they appear on the first lines of the search engine, but they recommend traditional medicine methods without diagnostics. Such sites contain SEO-shiny text written by freelance copywriters, and the portals themselves live off of payment for visitors’ visits.

Over the past month, 619 people were looking for a veterinarian in Novosibirsk. For comparison, 1207 people wanted to receive information about neutering cats, and 554 about neutering a cat. More clearly in the screenshots below:

You don’t have to look at the statistics, doctors themselves know that, unfortunately, they are often approached in extreme cases, when “it didn’t go by itself” and the recommendations from the forum did not help. Lack of awareness of animal diseases sometimes worries veterinarians much more than the position of their own site in the search results.

Ulanova Natalia Vladimirovna, the chief physician often,

the owners delay the visit to the doctor, which subsequently complicates the treatment process or even makes it impossible. Therefore, we set ourselves the task of educating people about the symptoms of the most common diseases, clearly identifying situations in the event of which it is impossible to postpone a visit to the clinic, and talking about appointments. And partly thanks to the site, we successfully cope with this task.

Conclusion two: Simple website promotion to the top is not enough for veterinary topics.

Transition to an integrated approach to promotion

Therefore, we soon came to the conclusion that it was not enough to bring the site to the top for key queries in the subject. In addition, the BEST veterinary clinic is a leader in the Siberian Federal District in terms of technological equipment and the level of professionalism of its employees, and the site did not match this. At first, we set tasks for improvements to third-party developers (who made the previous version of the clinic’s website) and performed SEO-promotion and contextual support. But soon, together with the head physician Natalya Vladimirovna Ulanova, they came to the conclusion that a different approach is required to promote a top and progressive veterinary clinic. The incremental change of the site became impossible, it was necessary to create it from scratch, changing the structure, design, and functionality. The decision was made, we began to think over a new website and additional promotion channels,

What does an integrated approach to internet marketing include?

We are sure (and we constantly tell our clients about this) that online promotion should be approached in a comprehensive manner: use a set of promotion channels suitable for each specific case, pay attention to content, work with reviews, study user scenarios, look at analytics at least once a week and draw conclusions from it, and most importantly – take into account the specifics of the business. The option “set up one channel and wait for sales” is definitely not for those who take their business seriously. And we already wrote about this in the blog before: magic “pills” for sales still do not exist, even if they are offered to you.

So, taking into account the analysis done and the specifics of the work of veterinary clinics, we have developed a strategy for Internet promotion, which included very voluminous and long-term tasks. Next, we will tell you what was done and what it led to.

Step 1. Connect social networks

In parallel with writing the terms of reference for the development of a new website for the clinic, we connected social networks as a tool for disseminating information and collecting feedback. For BEST, Vkontakte and Facebook groups were created, where news, interesting articles, tips are published, and daily communication with subscribers takes place. Now there are almost 4,000 people in the group.

Let’s list the points that you definitely need to pay attention to if you are developing social networks:

1. Optimized group name and discussions

The name of the group is “ Veterinary clinic BEST Novosibirsk | Veterinary Online ”- optimized for search within social networks and search engines. It not only contains the name of the brand but also reflects what the brand does. For a couple of years, we have tried different options, depending on the search algorithms. By the way, social networks take additional positions in search engines for brand queries and crowd out “uncontrolled” resources, but more about reputation …

2. Branded design
 The group is visually designed in the style of the existing veterinary clinic website. In the “Links” block, the landing pages of the clinic’s website are attached, in the “Contacts” the hotline numbers are indicated. The group has a menu with the main sections with links to the site – “Our doctors”, “Ask a question”, “Contacts”, “Frequently asked questions”. Questions are categorized by animal species. Posts on the wall are distributed by streams using hashtags.
3. Useful content
 When the group was launched, mainly entertaining content was published to attract users, now the emphasis is on clinic news, new articles on the site, and thematic articles. For example, when tick season begins, the group publishes insect repellents, bite recommendations, and other articles. The content in the group is aimed at educating subscribers, raising awareness of animal diseases, treatments, and new veterinary technologies.
4. Constant online presence
 The maximum activity in the group is concentrated on the topic “ Ask a question to the veterinarian ”. It already contains over 6,800 questions and answers. Not only subscribers from Novosibirsk ask questions in the topic, but everyone gets answers. And this has results too! It happened more than once when people came from cities of the Siberian Federal District and even from Vladivostok for treatment at BEST after receiving a detailed consultation and invitation from the group.

To receive an answer to complex questions, we contact the employee of the clinic responsible for this – a general practitioner. The therapist transfers highly specialized questions to other specialists. As a result, we receive a qualified answer and continue to communicate with the subscriber.

5. Working with brand advocates
 Any brand that starts to show activity on the Internet immediately has “haters”. In our case, they were several former clients who were dissatisfied with something 2-3 years ago, and decided to speak out as soon as they found BEST in social networks. Yes, haters are much more active than those who like you. But everything can be solved. In our case, animal protection, charitable organizations, and active regular customers of the blade, with whom we managed to build fruitful cooperation online and offline, became significant advocates of the brand.
Step 2. Improve the site
 The site had to “target” the user: to understand in what situations and why people are looking for information about veterinary clinics, to figure out how to keep them on the site. Not for the sake of upselling, but so that people do not go to forums for additional information, where inaccurate and contradictory information prevails, based on personal experience and subjective assessment.

Read more about the functionality and visual solution of the site of the BEST veterinary clinic in our portfolio, here we will list the main points on which the work was carried out:

1. User-understandable site structure
 We have added filters for the clinic’s services not only by medical fields (therapy, surgery, ophthalmology, ultrasound), which may not be obvious to a person who does not know the terms, but also by animal species: cats, dogs, ferrets, birds, and so on.
2. Veterinary encyclopedia – a reference book in which we are confident
 This section was introduced to address a major problem faced by veterinarians. Patients, receiving a certificate with a diagnosis or being in search of possible diseases by symptomatology, end up on forums where the same people tell stories of diseases and treatment of their pets. On such resources, there is a high risk of taking false information “at face value”. Therefore, we decided to add our own guide, where you can get competent information on animal diseases and medical procedures. The section has an educational function and helps clients to get the necessary information in one place.

At the moment the section competes with federal reference books and catalogs on veterinary medicine – for information requests. By the way, previously commercial and geo-dependent requests such as “neutering cats” have already moved from commercial to informational.

3. Active sections “Question-answer” and “Reviews”
 The Q&A section reduces the burden on administrators and the call center, and the Reviews section is regarded by search engines as an additional resource with reviews, which gives an additional line for the blade in the search results.
4. Constant updating in the sections “News” and “Promotions”
 By the company’s activity in the listed sections, site visitors determine whether the company is currently working. If the section with company news on the website was updated a year ago or even earlier, then much fewer potential customers will want to write or call you. Also, according to the information in these sections, customer focus and brand openness are read.
5. Emotional section “Medical history” confirming positioning
 It is emotional in its tone because it describes real stories of helping animals that were refused to be treated in other clinics, complex cases of operations. How to put it in the IT-sphere: this is a section with veterinary clinic cases. They show the level of competence of the clinic’s specialists and confirm its positioning. Here are published histories of the veterinary clinic itself, animal protection organizations, and charitable foundations with which BEST cooperates. Also in the section, visitors are invited to share their stories by filling out a special form.
6. Synchronization of updates with social networks
7. Taking into account the requirements for optimization at each stage of development
 In our web studio, a special checklist has been created, which contains the main points that must not be skipped, so as not to return to them later in the form of improvements or “crutches”. Let’s give an example of several points:
  • The presence of bread crumbs (no link on the last element) – for the layout designer,
  • The presence in the site design of a place for linking – for a designer,
  • The presence on the main page of the site and on the internal pages of a text block with the ability to edit, write headings – for developers.
8. Online chat with visitors

For those who need help here and now, and they are not ready to wait for an answer to the mail, but at the same time cannot call, for example, because they are in a crowded place or at work. In the online chat, you can check the availability of free places to make an appointment with a doctor, the availability of specific medications on sale, etc.

Step 3. Build your online reputation
 We have already written about working with a reputation in social networks above. Therefore, here we will talk about the actions that we took to work with reviews on and catalog sites. But first, let’s talk a little about the specifics of the clinic’s operating mode, which has repeatedly become the cause of negative reviews.
Divide negative reviews by category and find their reasons
 Having analyzed the typical negative comments about the clinic’s work, we have identified three main categories:
Forced shifts in the record
 Veterinary clinic “BEST” works not only by appointment or as a store with goods for animals, but also as an ambulance. And it happened when the clinic received up to nine emergency cases per day during the spring “cat fall”. Naturally, prioritizing the scheduled vaccination by appointment and the dying animals, the doctors chose the latter, and therefore the first client was notified of the postponement of the admission. However, not all people were prepared for schedule changes. And from them, the first category of clients appeared, leaving negative reviews about the work of the clinic due to queues and long waiting times.
Unwillingness to take responsibility for the pet’s health
 The second category is “distrustful” clients. When a dog is brought to the clinic for sterilization, the first thing the doctor recommends is a blood test and an ultrasound of the heart. This is done to exclude or prepare for the consequences of anesthesia. However, some “distrustful” pet owners perceive these recommendations as a way to make money for the clinic and refuse. In this case, the client signs a paper on refusal and responsibility for the consequences of the operation. But if any problems with the pet’s health occur during the operation, the client will, in any case, blame the doctor and the clinic.
Misunderstanding of the principles of the therapist
 Different diseases can have the same symptoms. And the attending physician first has to focus on the more common diagnoses for these symptoms, while the results of additional examinations are being prepared, and prescribe treatment to the patient. The doctor prescribes the scheme and appoints a second appointment. However, when pet owners do not see any improvement within 3-4 days, they do not come for a second appointment, but immediately turn to another clinic, believing that the doctor was mistaken due to their incompetence.

And only then other reasons.

What to do?
 Reviews of the clinic’s work are moderated. We check the reality of the situations described because the likelihood of falling under the machinations of competitors should not be ruled out. For urgent questions – we answer immediately. We pass on data on difficult situations to responsible persons who give a comment. Usually, comments are given by the chief physician, who always has videos from the corridors, offices, and operating rooms at hand. We formalize the explanations provided by the clinic in a business form and respond, enter into a dialogue with the commentator. An answer is given for each comment left.
Step 4. Link internet marketing to offline
 Yes, we are sure that it is impossible to do pure internet marketing without getting any data from offline. Therefore, the veterinary clinic “BEST” is friends with animal protection and charitable organizations not only in social networks – animals from there can undergo treatment in the clinic on special preferential terms, and any gift won in “BEST” can be presented by a subscriber to an animal in need from the shelter.

There was a period when we saw many negative reviews of the same type about the work of the clinic’s call center, about the responses in the online chat on the site. To get our own data, we acted as mystery shoppers and independently checked the work of the call center and chat. It turned out that customers who leave reviews are not exaggerating, there really is a problem. The information was immediately passed on to the head physician of the clinic, and the problem was resolved.

Step 5. Do not stand still, plan and act
 Thanks to the joint work and the professionalism of the clinic, BEST does not conduct active advertising campaigns. The media are happy to publish interesting cases from the clinic’s practice at their sites since BEST is the main newsmaker among veterinary clinics in Novosibirsk, which provides information openly and in an accessible form. The doctors of the clinic communicate with patients, receiving feedback, follow the global trends in veterinary medicine, and periodically train, improving their qualifications.

The clinic is constantly developing, and therefore we select new tools for its needs, develop the site, and social networks of BEST. Soon, the site will implement the “Pay online” function, which will allow the clinic’s clients to easily transfer donations for the treatment of patients from animal welfare or charitable foundations. In social networks, work is underway to fill wiki pages. Site visitors (subscribers of the group in social networks) are also oriented towards the publication of new content in the “Encyclopedia”, being active in the “Question and answer” section.

In addition, in 2014 the clinic acquired a new direction of activity – the Siberian Center for Postgraduate Veterinary Education… This year Silver has already held the first Veterinary Congress – an event that has no analogs beyond the Urals. For the site, basic SEO optimization was carried out, the functionality is being finalized with the development of the direction. The project is also promoted on social networks, more active on Facebook, the communities are professional and closed, as discussions of diseases are held inside and consultations are held to solve complex cases – with photos and videos.

Ulanova Natalia Vladimirovna, the chief physician

need to grow constantly since the pace of development of medicine and the market is extremely rapid, we constantly study, improve the qualifications of the clinic’s specialists, and practice a lot. And we know that shikdar studio specialists act in the same way. Every professional knows the nuances of his work area, so it is imperative to work on each task together. When promoting and developing the site – including.

Two-way communication is important

The secret to getting good results is teamwork with the customer. When a studio is not just a performer, but a participant and initiator of research, changes, and innovations. When customer feedback is easy because he knows what it is for. When the client takes the initiative and is ready to listen and accept the studio’s proposals. This shows not only the seriousness of the intentions of both parties but a responsible attitude towards the patients of the clinic – animals.

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